Tags: florida | tropical | bed bugs | reemerge

Florida Tropical Bed Bugs Reemerge After 60 Years

Image: Florida Tropical Bed Bugs Reemerge After 60 Years

Bed Bug Central public relations associate Calvin Allen shows a vial containing live bed bugs at the Bed Bug University North American Summit 2010 on Sept. 22, 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Thursday, 10 Nov 2016 01:49 PM

Florida tropical bed bugs are back after not being documented in the state for 60 years, and they’re capable of spreading faster than the average bed bug.

These tropical bed bugs feed “on human blood and could cause fear, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and itchy, blistery reactions,” WKMG ClickOrlando reported, noting that the bugs can spread more quickly than other varieties of bed bugs.

“This could mean that this species would develop more quickly, possibly cause an infestation problem sooner, and also could spread more rapidly,” Brittany Campbell, a doctoral student in entomology at the University of Florida, said in a media release, according to USA Today.

Campbell and her colleagues at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences confirmed the bug’s reemergence in a recent report in the Florida Entomologist journal.

Entomologists examined a bed bug sample they received in October 2015, Entomology Today noted. The sample was said to be a lot different from the common bed bug.

“Upon closer examination, we realized that this species, although very similar to the common bed bug, had a different shaped pronotum, or 'neck region,'” Campbell wrote for Entomology Today. “The common bed bug has a pronotum that forms a U-shape, with wing-like extensions on either side, but the tropical bed bug doesn’t have this characteristic U-shape.”

After making this discovery, Campbell and her colleagues “contacted the homeowners and collected several other specimens for identification. All of them were found to be tropical bed bugs,” Campbell wrote. “The homeowners had not traveled outside of the state of Florida, so it is likely that this species had been picked up in a state and had established itself elsewhere in the state of Florida.”

Prior to the 2015 bed bug sample, confirmations regarding any tropical bed bug in Florida hadn’t been made since the 1940s, USA Today noted.

The only confirmed case of the bug in Florida is in Brevard County.

“I personally believe that in Florida, we have all of the right conditions that could potentially help spread tropical bed bugs, which is the case in other southern states,” Campbell said, per USA Today. “As long as you have people traveling and moving bed bugs around, there is a real potential for this species to spread and establish in homes and other dwellings.”

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Florida tropical bed bugs are back after not being documented in the state for 60 years, and they're capable of spreading faster than the average bed bug.
florida, tropical, bed bugs, reemerge
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2016-49-10
Thursday, 10 Nov 2016 01:49 PM
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